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Eat, shave and drive for busy motorists

MULTI-TASKING MOTORISTS

ENGLAND: Motorists’ appetite for eating and driving — and even shaving at the wheel — is on the increase.

More than three in five drivers admitted eating at the wheel in the past year, according to a survey of 1,000 motorists by road safety charity Brake and insurance company Direct Line.

The survey also showed that in the last 12 months, 5% have shaved, combed hair, or applied make-up in free-flowing traffic.

“We need to take these findings with a pinch of salt,” said AA president Edmund King. “However, I once saw a driver eating a Chinese takeaway with chopsticks while driving, which isn’t recommended and probably does constitute dangerous driving.”

CRACKING MASH

USA: A man who says he broke two teeth when he bit into some mashed potatoes is suing a restaurant in Portland, Oregon.

Roger Branstetter said there were bits of broken porcelain in the food in February 2012 when he cracked two molars, and he says a manager at the Outback Steakhouse admitted that bits of a broken plate had fallen into the potatoes. Branstetter is suing the restaurant for $48,000 (€35,000).

A managing partner of the Evergreen Restaurant Group that owns the franchise, Jason Bender, told The Oregonian he could not speak in detail about the case, but had not heard of any other customers with a similar complaint.

‘NAKED’ M1 VAN DRIVER ARRESTED

ENGLAND: A driver has been arrested after motorists on the M1 reported seeing a man driving a van “naked and erratically”.

Hertfordshire Police said they were called by concerned motorists who reported seeing a man driving a white Ford Transit panel van on the southbound carriageway.

Officers from the roads policing unit attempted to stop the driver but it is alleged he did not pull over. The van was pursued with the help of a police helicopter.

The pursuit ended on the North Orbital Road near the London Colney roundabout where it connects with London Rd, St Albans.

A 21-year-old man from Sutton-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, was arrested on suspicion of driving a vehicle without its owner’s consent, dangerous driving, and failing to stop for police.

SOLD OUT

USA: A mother upset about “indecent” t-shirts on display at a Utah shopping centre found a quick if not particularly convenient way to remove them: She bought every last one.

Judy Cox was shopping with her teenage son at the University Mall in Orem, about 65km south of Salt Lake City, when she saw the offending shirts in the window of PacSun, the Daily Herald of Provo said.

The shirts featured pictures of scantily dressed models in provocative poses.

Cox told the Daily Herald she raised the issue with the shop manager and was told the t-shirts could not be taken down without approval from the corporate office.

In response, Cox bought every offending t-shirt in the store, for a total of $567 (€413). She says she plans to return them later.

BITCOIN BENEFACTOR

USA: In what may be the first college donation of the new electronic currency, a Bitcoin entrepreneur has made a $10,000 (€7,300) virtual donation to a Washington state liberal arts college.

The University of Puget Sound said it had received a donation of 14.5 coins of the digital currency, which it has converted into dollars.

Nicolas Cary graduated from the university in 2007 and now runs Blockchain, which supports the online currency market.

The 27-year-old said he wanted to make the gift in the money that is central to his life and career.

Bitcoin is an open-source currency affiliated with no country or bank.

RARE COIN

ENGLAND The Royal Mint is encouraging people to rifle through their loose change to discover whether an “incredibly rare” 50p piece is hiding in their wallet, a jam jar, or down the back of a sofa. Around one in 300 people is estimated by the Mint to have a Kew Gardens coin. It was released into circulation in 2009 to mark the 250th anniversary of the Royal Botanic Gardens. The Mint said it is the rarest commemorative coin design to be placed into general UK circulation, with 210,000 released. This compares with 22.7 million 50p coins produced with the shield of the Royal Arms design in 2008.


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